FARMERS, FOOD PROCESSORS AND EXPORTERS PLEDGE TO INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICES

 

FARMERS, FOOD PROCESSORS AND EXPORTERS PLEDGE TO INTERNATIONAL BEST PRACTICES

14 - 15 June, 2017 - Nigeria

Farmers, food processors and exporters have pledged their commitment to delivering quality and safe agricultural produce by signing the Conduits of Excellence. The Conduits of Excellence Letters of Commitment were signed on 14 and 15 June 2017, in Kaduna and Lagos, respectively.

The Conduits of Excellence (CoE) initiative seeks to control the quality of agricultural production and to promote quality-driven value chains from local raw materials. The CoE was established in July 2015 under the aegis of the EU-funded National Quality Infrastructure Project for Nigeria (NQIP_, which is being implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). The signing of the Conduits of Excellence indicates the closure of the first stage of the initiative’s implementation.

The Conduits of Excellence value chains are currently being implemented in two hubs – Kaduna, representing the northern and mid-west geopolitical zones; and Lagos, representing the southern and eastern geopolitical zones.

In Kaduna, three parties signed the Letter of Commitment. Led by Idris Mohammed, of Mohd Agrofoods Ltd, a warehouse operator and the Northern coordinator of the CoE, two other farmers decided to also sign the Letter of Commitment. The remainder farmers from Kaduna and Niger States decided to sign a framework out-grower agreement, whereby the coordinator provides seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, and the farmers undertake the work of sowing and growing the seeds. This partnership effectively ties the farmers into the Conduit of Excellence, but with the responsibility for compliance devolved to the Northern coordinator.

In Lagos, twenty-two parties signed onto the Conduits of Excellence. The group included food processors, exporters and forwarders responsible for food/agro despatch and deliveries. The coordinator for the Southern hub, Abimbola Alawode, CEO Rhabe Ventures Ltd, led the signing.

The Conduits of Excellence Letter of Commitment, which is open for signing by any legal, registered business, is a voluntary and binding commitment to adhere to the rules of the CoE. By making this commitment, signatories declared their intention to “strive for continuous improvement of [their] internal processes in order to achieve and maintain high quality production.” The parties also declared their intent to collaborate with each other “beyond short-term profit for long-term success,” and to respect the laws and regulations of Nigeria, as well as use international good practice and standards, where available. 

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